Saturday, October 29, 2011

REVIEW: Bombay Bicycle Club - A Different Kind of Fix

Grade: 82% (B-)

Tokyo Police Club recently released their 10x10x10 album, covering ten songs over ten years in ten days. These songs vary over genres, from the long piano infused "All My Friends" by LCD Soundsystem to the mainstream pop hit "Party in the USA" by Smiley Miley Cyrus. It's difficult to combine these genres on a whole album and still have the record have a "feel" to it. Somewhat similar on their newest effort, Bombay Bicycle Club, with the names ironically alike, bring about a comparable kind of effort but with their very own music. On A Different Kind of Fix, the band's musical influences range from genre to genre, decade to decade. This isn't just a British-folk take on some established musical stylings; instead, the album is the band's personal injection of their own theories into the basic algorithms of the genres. Somehow they manage to make it work too, with each song moving to the next with only minor, "where did this come from?" moments. The jump from the touchy-feely first track to the grungy second is smooth enough to handle and still helps you sort through the mess. The record even has a "feeling" to it, giving off the impression that the four members gathered and decided to take it to the very precipice of indie-pop, but fall just short to maintain their folk status. 

Who do these musical stylings evoke though? With it's poppy piano riff , "Shuffle" sounds like a synth-less Passion Pit while the groovy 80's bassline on "Lights Out, Words Gone" sounds like a Phil Collins track from way back when. The poppy "Take the Right One" has the dreamy feel of Coldplay minus the questionable lyrics and the acoustic led "Beggars" saves face with their folk status and jumps the broom with it's smooth bassline and electric accompaniment. "Your Eyes" reaches pop-status and then impresses with it's strong bridge with vocals moving alongside the instrumentation and is surely going to be a concert staple. Most notable however, is the album's closer "Still." Vocalist Jack Steadman seems to be channeling his inner, dare I say, Thom Yorke. With the beautiful piano rhythms and strong vocals, the song sounds like it could've been taken right off of Amnesiac and needs to be added to whatever "Sleep Playlist" you have on your iPod. The genre splitting album is strong, and it would be very interesting to inspect the North London band's iPods themselves to figure out what exactly the fix was that helped them make this album

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